PREVIEW: FA Vase 1st qualifying round, AFC Blackpool vs West

Following a disappointing trip to Irlam last Friday and earlier cup exploits being ended by 1874 Northwich last month, West start back on the road to Wembley this Saturday with a trip to AFC Blackpool

West currently hold the national Vase record for record score-line when they beat Dinnington Town 15-1 in October 2015, before falling to eventual winners Morpeth Town in a ding-dong 5-4 game in the next round. Last season, however, West will be looking to avenge what happened in their opening game last season, going out in extra time away to Penistone Church.

Playing in the NWCFL Division One – one league below West – AFC Blackpool have had a somewhat streaky start to the season, winning their opening game 3-1 against Owestry Town, before successive losses to Silsden (1-3), Bacup Borough (1-2) and Whitchurch Alport (1-4). Theyt have since turned around their fortunes, and come into the game on the back of a two game winning streak with Holker Old Boys (3-0) and Prestwich Heys (1-0) both losing to visiting AFC Blackpool sides.

Currently sitting mid-table in 13th, the club will be looking to keep up similar form to make sure they improve upon last season’s finish of 19th of 22. A cup run would act as a perfect platform to build upon, especially after last year falling during their opening tie at home to Runcorn Town 2-0.

The winner of the tie will host the winner of Northwich Victoria vs Stockport Town on Saturday 23rd September.

West last faced AFC Blackpool in 2015/16 in a whirlwind 3 day period – rescheduling requiring a double header – to cap off the season. With Blackpool all but relegated, West had to deal with the death of club legend Rob Turley between the fixtures – something which affected everyone involved at Brookburn Road. West finished a superb season on the pitch by logging a record points total and a 5th placed finish.

Past meetings against AFC Blackpool

West 2 (Poizer, Brockley) – 1 AFC Blackpool
Thursday 5 May 2016

West registered their second win in three games with a hard fought 2-1 victory over AFC Blackpool at Brookburn Road.

Playing just 48 hours after their 3-0 defeat at Colne West were back in action and Manager Steve Settle was able to recall Richmond Botchey and Mark Rogers to the starting line-up with Ben Steer unavailable and Michael Simcock dropping to the bench as part of his phased return.

AFC Blackpool 3 – 5 (Potts, Shaw, Kay, Evangelinos, Brockley) West
Saturday 7 May 2016

West rounded off an emotional day by capping off an incredible season with a 5-3 away to AFC Blackpool just 24 hours after the news that Vice Chairman Rob Turley had passed away.  West manager Steve Settle named just one change from the side that had beaten AFC Blackpool 48 hours earlier as Michael Simcock replaced Richmond Botchey at left back.

Wearing all sky blue and black armbands in honour of Rob, both teams observed a minutes silence before kick off with both Ashton Athletic and Padiham also observing minute’s silences.

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